Sunday, July 11, 2010

Modelling seasons

I've been seeing the mention of the modelling "season" mentioned on a Society message board which makes me wonder whether model making still has traditional seasons.

Where I live there used to be something called the "Coventry fortnight". During these weeks all the big industries would shut down and the good people of the West Midlands second biggest conurbation would pack up buckets and spades and head off on holiday. Although it's still mentioned, the demise of the UK manufacturing base means that it's more myth than reality nowadays. Modern firms let people take time off pretty much when they want within an agreed holiday allocation. Only school timetables enforce any structure to our time off. Even then there are lots of people who think nothing of nipping away for a crafty mini-break in a way that was once the provenance of the wealthy and James Bond.

So the world has changed. Does this mean that everything has ? Depends who you listen too.

The man on the message board would say no. Model making takes place in the dark cold nights of late autumn, winter and early spring. During the summer months we do other things.

Iain Rice, Chris Nevard and John Sutton would say no. Sitting out in the garden making things in the dappled shade of a handy tree is very pleasant. At the very least you can have the windows open the approved manner mentioned on the side of every can of paint or glue you've handled.

I suppose you can make a good argument that there are things you can do on the summer that aren't available in the other seasons. Mowing the grass for example. Or pulling up things you think are weeds. Or painting the house. Some even suggest some sort of sporting activity but if you take a look at the crowds at your average exhibition you can forget about that unless it's crown green bowls...

Exhibitions do have an off-season. Prime time is March/April followed by late September/October/November. You can hold a show in the summer but the numbers in the door will be pathetic. Sunny months are normally reserved for the specialist society shows which don't need to worry about attracting an audience in the same way.

I suspect that for most people it's just another bizarre reason people make up to avoid taking part in their hobby. The same people who have great plans for the new seasons activities have probably based themselves in uninsulated garages, lofts or sheds which are unusable in the hot and cold months. These are people who love the idea of a hobby, probably even enjoy visiting shows and spending money on it. They just don't want to actually have a go. You'll spot them writing in to the more finescale magazines or haunting web forums where they will indulge in hair splitting disputes based on theory rather than practise.

For me, I enjoy my hobby. I've even been known to go away and take a small box of tools and a little project for the evenings. Nothing smelly or difficult, just a bit of fun. The summer months are different and there are attractions to draw you away from the workbench but if it's that or watch the World Cup, then I've got a particular fiendish chassis I need to look at urgently !

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